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J Clin Microbiol. 2005 Jan;43(1):144-9.

Interlaboratory comparison of PCR-based identification and genogrouping of Neisseria meningitidis.

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  • 1Neisseria Unit and the French National Reference Center for Meningococci, Institut Pasteur, Paris, France.


Twenty clinical samples (18 cerebrospinal fluid samples and 2 articular fluid samples) were sent to 11 meningococcus reference centers located in 11 different countries. Ten of these laboratories are participating in the EU-MenNet program (a European Union-funded program) and are members of the European Monitoring Group on Meningococci. The remaining laboratory was located in Burkina Faso. Neisseria meningitidis was sought by detecting several meningococcus-specific genes (crgA, ctrA, 16S rRNA, and porA). The PCR-based nonculture method for the detection of N. meningitidis gave similar results between participants with a mean sensitivity and specificity of 89.7 and 92.7%, respectively. Most of the laboratories also performed genogrouping assays (siaD and mynB/sacC). The performance of genogrouping was more variable between laboratories, with a mean sensitivity of 72.7%. Genogroup B gave the best correlation between participants, as all laboratories routinely perform this PCR. The results for genogroups A and W135 were less similar between the eight participating laboratories that performed these PCRs.

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